Here’s Why Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Is Officially Our Fave Late Night Show


The reason should be obvious. We love ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’ because it’s the ONLY show on late night TV in the US that is hosted by a woman. While we’re not just “voting along gender lines”, there’s actually more to it than just the fact she is the lone female wolf in the male-dominated landscape of late night comedy hosts.

For those not in the know, Samantha Bee hails from Canada and was originally a correspondent on the Jon Stewart-hosted ‘Daily Show’ from 2003, and although some fans may have been upset Trevor Noah was chosen to take his place, the fact that she now has her own show on TBS gives audiences a chance to get to know more of her as a comedian without the constraints of a show that has a very specific delivery.

Starting from scratch can be a good thing, because stepping into a well-loved comedian host’s shoes like Jon Stewart is one thing, but having the added male-female comparisons would’ve just gotten annoying. BTW, we think Trevor Noah is doing a brilliant job!

Ever since Samantha burst onto our television screens with her brightly colored set and unabashed content focused on women and politics, we can’t get enough. In fact, we were already hooked before the show came on air. Back in September 2015 Vanity Fair ran a story on the “titans of late-night television” and although the article did mention how “gobsmackingly insane” it was that it has taken this long to get 2 women among many men (Chelsea Handler’s new show will premiere on Netflix later this year), Samantha decided to have a little fun with the image that was tweeted out by the Hollywood publication.


It was a symbolic gesture of what was to come – a timely disruption of a genre that has not been too kind to women. Oh yes, nearly all of these hosts are liberal, feminist-leaning men who have in their own shows advocated women’s issues and spoken of the ridiculous fact that there have been no women in late night TV up until now. But a startling admission from Kathy Griffin, who in 2014 had expressed interest in taking over Craig Ferguson’s spot on the ‘Late Late Show’ before British comedian James Corden was chosen, shows things aren’t as peachy keen as the quotes we read in the media.

After having a meeting with CBS, she was told the network was not considering females at the time.

“You realize that’s illegal to say in a business meeting?” she reportedly said to them.

When she pointed out how embarrassing it was that they have no women in late night, an executive responded “Well, you have [all-female daytime talk show] ‘The Talk'”. Yeah…

“I walk into the [meeting] room thinking, ‘I’ll give it a shot.’ I leave the room thinking, ‘I never had a chance,” she said. CBS says they never actually met with her and that they did consider a number of female candidates. Regardless of who is right on that particular account, the fact that they didn’t choose a female despite many talented female comedians existing doesn’t look good for the network.

Now that we have Samantha Bee to break the drought, we understand how important it is viewers support this show in order to prove to networks and execs who still have even the mildest of sexist tendencies when looking at female talent, that it IS embarrassing there aren’t more women in late night.

In an interview with Mother Jones, she talked about being the only female in late-night TV right now, and how feminism will play a part in the content she puts out.

“There’s certainly room for more female voices. It’s just the way it works out that my show is hitting the airwaves before anyone else. I think there will be more after me, so it definitely means a lot to me…When you think about the women who have come before me in that space, it’s such a small number of people. It’s really unthinkably small. I just don’t know why,” she said.

Also, she will not be writing “women jokes”. She doesn’t think there is a difference in what makes men and women laugh, and her answer is the kind of statement that needs to resonate loud and widely in comedy circles.

“A good joke is a good joke. I’m picky about my jokes. I’m very critical about my jokes, and the material just has to win the day. You can do a themed piece on anything, but if the jokes don’t win the day, what’s the point? I have a really tough sense of humor, but I don’t have a gendered experience of laughing at things. People bring their own experience to the table, but I don’t think of it that way at all,” she said.

When asked whether she will bring her “feminist perspective” to the show, Samantha says she doesn’t think about presenting issues in a feminist way, it just comes naturally to her.

“I always have been a feminist. That’s how I grew up. We never really thought about it. It’s just the reality. I think my daughters are feminists. We don’t have to theorize about it too much. It just is. That’s how I feel. Somebody was asking me that question the other day, and I was like, “You know, would you not think that you can watch ‘The Late Show’ because it’s hosted by a man? Would you wonder, would you sit and go, ‘Ugh, this is going to be all about man issues? Like, is there anything for me to watch in this show hosted by a man?’ It’s strange to me that people would think that this show would be just strictly isolated to women’s issues. Like obviously, there are issues that I feel passionate about and want to be a part of it, but we can all handle it. Men and women can handle it as people,” she said.

So far, the topics we have seen on the show include sexual harassment, reproductive rights, Syrian refugees, Black History Month and a heavy dose of the current US Presidential race. So yes, it’s not just a “woman’s late night show”, it is a late night comedy show hosted by a badass comedian (who happens to be female).

A final selling point of this show and why it is our favorite, is because of the commitment to diversity behind the scenes. Many shows talk about the “need” for diversity, but instead of just paying lip service, Samantha has shown how easy it is and ensured 50% of her writing staff are women, and 30% are non-white. Yep, ‘Full Frontal’ is now considered to have THE most diverse writing staff in the whole late night TV landscape. Are you surprised?

Ok, we think we have explained our love for Samantha Bee’s show adequately, so that’s enough yapping from us. Watch the videos in this article and be sure to watch ‘Full Frontal’ Monday at 10:30pm on TBS, or catch up with your fave segments on the show’s Youtube Channel.

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